William 'Bill' Downing


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Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 6:19 pm
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William R. "Bill" Downing, formerly of Rock Island, died on Feb. 2, 2013.
Bill was born on Aug. 26, 1925, in Rock Island, one of six sons of Harry and Mary Downing. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1942.
He began working at the family business, Downing Brothers Dairy (later known as Downing's All-Star Dairy), in 1938, at the age of 13, and after serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he returned in 1946 to work at the dairy. That year, he met the love of his life, Rita L. Shaughnessy. They were married in Chicago on Oct. 19, 1946, and this past October celebrated their 66th anniversary.
They had two sons, Michael W. Downing (Pamela L.), White Bear Lake, Minn., and Dennis J. Downing (Dianna), Monterey, Mass; and four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
After a 40-year career as plant manager at Downing All-Star Dairy, he worked for another 10 years at the Rock Island Arsenal as procurement officer. He retired from the U.S. Army in January 1988 and he and Rita moved to Pine Island Cove on Pine Island, Fla. in 1990. He greatly enjoyed his friendships at Pine Island Cove and especially enjoyed playing baseball, bocce and bowling with the guys. He was a Cubs fan and a member of the Pine Island Elks, Pine Island Moose and Pine Island American Legion.
A great man, a great father and a great role model, he will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.












 



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  Today is Saturday, July 26, the 207th day of 2014. There are 158 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is said that the ferry company has cleared about $10,000 since the burning of the railroad bridge. Couldn't the company now afford to pay that little bill it owes the city?
1889 -- 125 years ago: The sum of $4 million in cash in addition to supplies of immense value were forwarded to Jamestown, Pa., from all parts of the country for relief of the sufferers from the great flood.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Board of Education secured a site for the New Central Grammar School by purchasing additional property south of Irving School for $3,400.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The total number of workers employed at the Farmall Works of International Harvester Co. has reached a peak of 5,300, the largest payroll in Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Army engineers testified today that the water levels of Lakes Huron and Michigan are at a 104-year low. The condition is causing a multi-million dollar loss to commercial shipping.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Department of Revenue issued certification for a tax-increment- financing district Friday afternoon, opening one more door for developer Jim Massa to proceed through on his way to establishing an automobile raceway.






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